ST. CHARLES – How does one measure a year?
By new businesses, new programs, milestones, recognitions and awards – or at least that’s how the Downtown St. Charles Partnership captured 2013 in its year in review.
Scott Piner, the partnership’s marketing and development manager, said the organization published the year in review as a way to help the community know of the great things that happened with the downtown businesses this year.
“This was an exciting year in downtown St. Charles, with a host of great new businesses opening, expanding and reaching milestone anniversaries,” Executive Director Lynne Schwartz said in a statement.
“In addition, downtown was home to events and programs, both new and old, which engaged the community and brought people here to enjoy our beautiful downtown district.”
In addition to producing such events as the St. Charles Fine Art Show, Holiday Homecoming and the St. Patrick’s Parade, the Downtown St. Charles Partnership added a summer program called STC Live.
The program, which ran from June to September, coordinated performances by 23 entertainers – including magicians and musicians – at various downtown locations on Wednesday and Friday evenings. The partnership plans to continue STC Live in 2014, Piner said.
Also in 2013, nearly a dozen businesses opened downtown, including five on Main Street: Acosta’s Consignment, Forever Yogurt, One of a Kind Find, Sportiva Soccer and Water Street Studios PrintLab.
On South Riverside Avenue, Prime Bistro opened in the former location of River Rockhouse. On the avenue’s north end, Greenleaf Yoga and Mediation moved in.
Other new businesses included Puebla Modern Mexican on South First Street and, on South Second Street, Shooting Star Studios, which offers model boot camps and acting and audition workshops.
Meanwhile, What-Not-Shoppe, 106 E. Main St., celebrated 25 years in business; Jim Petterec of JP Jewelers, 151 S. First St., marked 20 years in business; The Jalapeno Grille, 602 Geneva Road, reached its 10-year anniversary; and Dick Pond Athletics, 303 N. Second St., commemorated 10 years in business in St. Charles.
The Downtown St. Charles Partnership asked businesses to share some highlights from 2013. Responses included the following:
• Dick Pond Athletics doubled in size with an addition in April.
• Doc Morgan Inc., 108 S. Second St., upgraded its exterior with landscaping and a new flag pole.
• The Hauser Group, 100 Illinois St., remodeled its offices. President Mara Hauser also won the Cynthia Bland O’Toole New Venture Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Chicago Area Chapter.
• Kimmer’s Ice Cream, 1 W. Illinois St., updated its packaging and branded its quarts and pints, which helped the business sell more units in its wholesale efforts.
Piner said there’s a sense of optimism among businesses, and they are excited for 2014.
“They’re hopeful for great things,” he said.